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The Internal Battle of Worldly and Kingdom Success

by | Sep 23, 2021

I spent a lifetime chasing “worldly success”. I still fall into that trap today. As an Enneagram 3, it frustratingly seems to be baked into my wiring.

How about you? What motivates your work? What drives your career?

After almost four decades in the workplace, I’ve learned the hard way that left unattended, “the world” will define what motivates your work. And the world will drive what’s important to you in your career.

It’s no wonder. Virtually everything our mind and heart sees or hears is moving us in some small or large way onto a worldly success pathway. Streaming TV, social media, books, magazines, blogs, friends, bosses, peers. They drive us to need more money. They motivate us have a bigger title. They encourage us to project a half-truth image on social media. They teach us to tell half-truths to help us win or look good. They allow us to throw a peer under the bus. I could go on. You know what they are for you.

The reality for most of us is that unless we intentionally decide that God has a better way, we will naturally chase the world’s better way.


In our video, Raynisha said it very well. What does this mean to the greater calling on your life? How does God desire to use you in your work?

Many years ago, God gave me the idea to start taking notes on the programs at funerals. After all, this is where you hear what really matters in a life. My friend and former co-worker Tom Young shared with me that “it’s the things people say at your funeral that defines Kingdom success. Not the worldly success that’s chronicled by your LinkedIn profile and social media persona.”

So what does Kingdom success look like?

Last Friday, Steve Blair, my friend and Workmatters Chairman of the Board, celebrated the life of his Father. These are the words used to describe Larry Blair, many of which were referenced through his Plant Manager leadership role at General Motors:

  • he was selfless (Mark 10:45),
  • he was humble,
  • he knew people in an authentic way,
  • he was an expression of love for people.

I’ll close with this. In truth, what we really need to embrace Kingdom success is a new vision for our workA new why for our work. This is what we teach in our Workmatters Institute. And it’s a game-changer for every single leader that goes through it. The foundation of the teaching is rooted in what the Bible says about work (read the first two chapters of Genesis). And these Seven Pillars of Faith and Work:

  1. Love
  2. Integrity
  3. Excellence
  4. Serve
  5. Calling
  6. Balance
  7. Influence

Let me encourage you today to do some self-evaluation. Where are you really with worldly success vs Kingdom success? What changes can you begin to make today? How can you embrace a new vision for your work?

Colossians 3:23,
David

David Roth

As the President and CEO of Workmatters, David leads initiatives that have equipped more than a million people around the globe to live their faith in the context of work.